Coach Shari: Instant Gratification
It started with a funny feeling in my throat. It wasn’t exactly a feeling of pain; it was more like a tickle. It went downhill from there into a dry hacking cough and a general malaise. I spent Wednesday searching for a wedding dress for my future daughter-in-law. By the middle of the afternoon, I was moving slower and wishing that I could lie down on the nearest couch. I had a cough, a cold and a total lack of energy.
By today, I had difficulty talking for long periods of time without feeling like I was going to start coughing uncontrollably. My husband heard me in the other room and said, “When are you going to go to the doctor?” Here’s the reason why that might not happen…
I’ve been down this road before with the exact same symptoms. I go to the doctor and after the exam, he announces that there’s an 80% chance that all my symptoms are just viral and have to run their course. Antibiotics won’t help, since chances are, my illness is not bacterial. However, he will always prescribe them to me if I would desire to take them.
This reminded me of the article I recently read in the Cincinnati Enquirer on Chronic Pain Management. Dr. Akbik was quoted as saying, “People want to go to a restaurant and eat everything, then take a tablet to not gain weight. If they’re in pain, they want to take a pill to make it go away. The concept of us working hard to achieve something has been taken over by ‘take a tablet and you’ll get what you want.’”
I happen to think he’s right. We want to believe that any discomfort and any illness can be easily treated with a pill. Any problem that we have can easily be solved with the right medication. This mentality keeps the pharmaceutical industry in business. However, I believe this mentality isn’t healthy for us.
When I worked as a therapist, my clients often were prescribed a myriad of medications to help them feel better. They depended on these medications to change their life. Invariably, I would have a talk with them about changing their lifestyle to include exercise, healthy eating etc. These changes coupled with medication, could truly make the difference in their lives. However, most of the time, these individuals expected the medications to give them the life they want without making any other needed changes.
Let’s be honest here. Taking a pill is the easy part. Overhauling your eating, sleeping and exercising, a total lifestyle change, is the hard part. It takes commitment and discipline hourly and daily. It will probably be fairly uncomfortable in the short-term but will pay off for you in the long-term.
Back to my annoying cough and general lack of energy— this too shall pass. I’ll eat right, try to take it easy and get plenty of rest. If my symptoms worsen, I’ll definitely consult a doctor. In the meantime, I believe I’ll have to tough it out and just wait for the virus to run its course.
In life, there isn’t always an easy and instant solution for every problem that you encounter. This one will probably take some patience.